SiriusXM in discussions to acquire struggling Pandora

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    Bill Recto
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    http://nypost.com/2017/05/17/siriusxm-in-discussions-to-acquire-struggling-pandora/

    Another deal in the works.

     

    Liberty Media-backed SiriusXM is in active discussions about making a bid for internet radio company Pandora, The Post has learned.

    The New York satellite radio company, which has exhibited on-and-off interest in the struggling streamer, has recently restarted talks with Pandora’s banks and is discussing the size of a potential offer, sources said.

    There is no agreement yet on a price, but one optimistic industry insider believes a bid could range as high as $12 to $13 a share.

    That price tag was immediately shot down by sources familiar with talks.

    Liberty Media Chief Executive Greg Maffei has said in the past that he thinks Pandora is worth $10 per share. Shares of the Oakland, Calif., company on Wednesday shed 4.5 percent, closing at $8.93.

    Pandora, run by founder Tim Westergren, had hopes for continuing to run the streamer as a stand-alone company, but two activists — Matrix and Corvex — have pushed the company to pursue a sale.

    Pandora on May 9 inked a deal with KKR on a $150 million investment. Terms of the investment have it closing in no less than 30 days. There has been chatter that Pandora will look to sell itself within that time frame.

    Pandora has been working with Morgan Stanley and Centerview, to consider offers.

    Goldman Sachs analyst Heath Terry, wrote in a report on Wednesday that the market is focused on the increasingly competitive environment in streaming music — and its lack of profits. Still, Terry’s price target is $16.

    “Given the high level of shareholder involvement and what we see as significant strategic value in Pandora’s user base, advertising inventory, data, and home screen position, we believe the likelihood of strategic action remains high,” Terry wrote in the note to investors, according to Barron’s.

    Pandora reported 1.3 million trials of its on-demand products in the first quarter and a 6 percent uptick in revenue, to $316 million. Still, active listeners were 76.7 million, down from 79.4 million in the year-ago period.

    Last July, the Wall Street Journal reported that Maffei floated an offer for the company at $15 per share. In March, Maffei said the stock was worth around $10.

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